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Go Green: The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Travel

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Cate Palmer

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Every day we are witnessing how our actions have caused climate change, degradation of nature and animal species being wiped out. While most humans are not even aware of their part in these, there are those who advocate changes in behaviour and lifestyle which could make this world a better place for future generations. Among those is sustainable travel, a new and eco-friendly manner of tourism and travelling gaining more and more supporters and promoters, not only among individuals but also among companies and governments.

If you’re planning to join this growing community of eco-travellers, here are a few things you should know.

  1. Choose a responsible manner of travel

How you travel to your destination does matter. If you’re going by plane, take a non-connecting flight since the fewer plane flights you take the lower carbon emissions will be. Also, choose one of the 30+ IATA airlines which are investing in carbon reduction projects in order to neutralise the pollutants harmful to the environment. If you’re not flying, you can rent a hybrid or electric car if yours is not eco-friendly, or travel by train, bus or ship since it’s more environmentally responsible.

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  1. Collect the info before the trip

By getting all the facts about your travel destination, you can learn a lot about how to be a green traveller. Nature reserves, endangered species, customs, national parks, wildlife, sustainable energy programmes and a number of pollutants in the air, those are just some of the issues which can influence your travel plans and stay.

  1. Find a green hotel

Nowadays, many hotels are focused on being more responsible towards their environment. Look for hotels using solar panels for electricity and heating, recycling programs, wind turbines and treatment of rainwater for drinking and utility. Also, if you’re planning to do hotel hopping, you can still continue staying at eco-friendly hotels by checking their seal of approval from certification programs and whether they’re using native resources and thus invest in the local economy.    

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  1. Save water

People rarely pay attention to how much water they’re using and wasting. By taking shorter showers and never baths, you can use three times less water than you usually do. Turn the tap off while you shave, brush your teeth and perform other hygiene activities. The same applies if you wash the laundry or dishes, just like when you’re at home. Don’t request new towels after each use because it means fewer washing cycles for the hotel laundry and subsequently decreased usage of water. Also, buy a water bottle which you can refill.   

  1. Save energy

Don’t forget to turn off all the lights, television, heating and air conditioning unit and unplug the devices from chargers to save energy. There are hotels where this will be done automatically when you take your key card and leave the room so you might choose that kind of boarding. There’s no better way to do some sightseeing and tours than by foot, using public transport or biking. That way you will participate in less gas consumption and save money in the process. Also, if you use the hotel room cleaning service only when really needed, you’ll help cut down the use of electricity for vacuuming and washing.

  1. Be a good tourist

It is very important that you are not only choosing eco-friendly means of travel and stay but that you are the one being environmentally responsible too. Don’t throw garbage outside the places designated for waste disposal. Whenever you can, recycle and stop using materials damaging to human or animal health. You can even help by picking up the trash and disposing of it in the right way.

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When going for hikes, walks or any other activity which involves contact with nature, don’t wander off and respect the rules of conduct. Never feed animals since that way they get used to humans and when an attack happens, the animal is euthanized. Keep your distance from wildlife since trying to come closer can be interpreted as a sign of aggression, and yet again the animal will be killed for attacking you. And watch your step, because you wouldn’t want to harm the indigenous flora.

And lastly

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Choosing the green way of life isn’t put on pause when you go for a business trip or vacation, or even when you’re visiting relatives in another town. It should be more than a lifestyle and philosophy. It’s who you are and how much you respect your home – planet Earth. Even by doing some of the things we mentioned you can impact the negative climate change and other people’s perspectives on eco-friendly principles. So be proud to participate in making this world a better place for all life and its miracles.


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